The Case of the Bobcat and the Missing Freshmen

The+Case+of+the+Bobcat+and+the+Missing+Freshmen

Charlotte Gardner

[media-credit id=2148 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Every student at QU has the memory of their first night on the Mount Carmel Campus. Meeting new friends on your floor, taking pictures with your new roommates and cautiously wandering around keeping an eye out for public safety. Since everyone’s orientation, they have been awaiting the ceremonious freshman rite of passage; to meet in front of the famed bobcat statue once the sun goes down.

Alive with eager young students, the bobcat was the place to be on the first nights of the fall semester for freshmen and some older students alike. This pivotal event created long-lasting friendships and is sacred to the campus. Tales during orientation of the famed meet up enthused many freshmen in the years past. However, this year something changed. Instead of a wild hoard of tipsy teens crowded around the bobcat, there were only confused upperclassmen wondering why the statue was dead when it used to be the most energetic spot to meet. As seen through Snapchat stories, the statue was desolate with barely anyone there to celebrate the new semester.

Where did all the freshmen go? What happened to the nights at the bobcat?

The answer was in freshmen neglecting to go to the bobcat and instead going out to the bars and clubs of New Haven. During the first 2 months of living on campus, the shuttles are discouraged from taking freshmen into New Haven due to the school wanting the freshmen to become acclimated to the campus. Even though they are withheld from using the school’s transportation to go to New Haven, they have eagerly worked around this obstacle and have made it out many times during move-in week.

Places like Clubhouse and Dicks were filled with some new faces during the first weekend and many off campus houses were being utilized by these courageous lower classmen. Stories from RA’s of their first weekend on duty were relatively tame and anticlimactic. The events of the weekend lacked tales of drunken kids doing crazy things because no one was on campus in the first place. Some freshmen even tried to go to Toad’s on a Monday.

Freshman Myles Harrington states “I think it’s probably because of how the fight was the next weekend” as another reason as to why the scene on Bobcat Way was so desolate.

This class of freshmen is the largest class of students Quinnipiac has had with around 2,021 students, as the school is trying to spread and establish the university name more. Quinnipiac also has the reputation of being a notorious bar and party school. That could possibly explain the higher influx of people wanting to attend school here and would explain why these new students came ready to party.

Hearing that many freshmen neglected to go to the bobcat statue, junior Alessandro Woodbridge reflects on his experience there as a freshman.

“Hanging out at the Bobcat was definitely one of the most exciting memories during my orientation week. I remember going to the bobcat every day, music bumping really loud, loads of public safety there with us. It was also an opportunity for my roommates and close group of friends to know how we were going to be on nights out.”

Of course no one, even the school, can expect new students to spend every waking minute on campus. And freshmen certainly are expected and excited to go to out to QU students’ favorite party locations across Connecticut. However, missing the gathering at the bobcat is a first and a quite a taboo on the Mount Carmel campus and makes everyone wonder if it was skipped this year, then what will it become next year?

Hopefully, the bobcat tradition isn’t ending because it truly was one of the most memorable moments of freshman year. For many people, meeting at the bobcat started lifelong friendships and offered the first true taste of the “college experience”. The fact that upperclassmen still come to the statue during move-in week is a statement to attest to the meaning behind the tradition. The small thrill of jumping into a crowd of new and amazing people really starts off the year with hope and positivity and brings everyone together.